’70s Rock Vibes and Cool Cuts of Marble Rule in This NYC Apartment
“Space is not just the stars: It’s clouds, sunsets, and watching the sun go over the city in the way that it does,” says Taylor LaShae. Space is also what sold the French-Colombian model, former creative director for the Kooples, and budding astronomer on her Williamsburg, Brooklyn, apartment. The place, which was a step up in the amenities department from her previous spot in Manhattan, is framed by floor-to-ceiling glass. “I can see the moon perfectly from my window. You’re just looking up into oblivion,” she adds.
Her fascination with all things happening in the sky is the reason she designated the apartment’s largest bedroom as her office, only retreating to the smaller bedroom—which she prefers dark and cool—at the end of the day. Designer and fellow Leo Lawson Taylor set out to translate LaShae’s already established monochromatic, polished aesthetic to the interiors. “In the world of fast fashion, it’s all about fads,” says LaShae. “I wanted a home that was timeless. I wanted something that wouldn’t age.”
“I remember Taylor saying that she really wanted some kind of marble element in the living room, and I was like, well, we should make it your coffee table,” recalls Lawson. The designer sketched a mock-up on his iPad and had the piece fabricated in nearby Greenpoint. With no dining table to speak of, the surface had to serve as just that, meaning it had to be open on the bottom so two people could comfortably prop themselves up against the new stain-repellent sofa and slip their legs underneath. “I like to sit on my nice rug and eat my lunch while watching TV,” explains LaShae. “It needed to be interactive.”
When it’s not mealtime, the Calacatta Viola table is a display spot for LaShae’s favorite books, of which she has collected many after living in six different countries over the course of four years (think: Bali, England, France). “I could always travel with them because they check easily and lie flat,” she explains.
Because everyone needs a junk drawer, Lawson designed a console for the entryway with Aronson Woodworks, along with a custom-cut runner that, he explains, “perfectly aligns with her crooked hallway.”
For a brief moment, LaShae fought herself on whether or not to put her headboard up against her bedroom window. “It’s so not feng shui,” she says. But ultimately it was functional. She likes to fall asleep facing the TV, and she requires complete darkness to catch quality z’s, hence the extra-long blackout curtains. “I love it to feel like a den, like I’m a vampire,” she explains.
“I wanted every single thing, every single closet, to be opened up like it is in a store,” says LaShae.
Every last bag, necklace, blazer, boot, and pajama top has a place in the apartment, and they’re scattered across three main closets. The one in the bedroom holds coats (there are also drawers separated by yoga clothes, intimates, and socks). “So everything I need after a shower is there for bedtime,” she explains. The hallway closet has been designated for dirty laundry, along with “every type of sweater imaginable.” The largest closet, the one in the office, houses pants, gowns, and tops, all of course on their own rack, perfectly hung on matching white velvet hangers.
“I wanted every single thing, every single closet, to be opened up like it is in a store,” explains LaShae of her ultra-tidy system. The armoire in her office doubles as a trophy case of sorts. In addition to smaller accessories, it’s where she puts all the magazines she has ever been in and sunglasses she’s designed.
Having grown up on every single genre of music—U.K. underground rock from the ’60s and ’70s resonates the most with her these days—LaShae’s extensive vinyl collection and record player take center stage in her workspace. “I really wanted this to feel like a bad bitch’s office,” she says, laughing. “It’s not just for emails—it’s a place for creativity, to do your makeup and listen to music and feel a certain way. I really wanted to play a harder note in this room.”
Lawson went back to his go-to fabricator, who created the living room coffee table and had a black marble desk made for the room. It was only after ordering the piece that LaShae realized the office she had in Paris while working for the Kooples had black marble in it, too. “It takes me back to that pinnacle moment in my life,” she notes.
Lawson opted for a long-arm wall sconce that’s all about flexibility: It moves around the room, and the bulb can be dimmed or brightened via Alexa. Most important, it doesn’t get in the way of watching the sunrise.